104,700 courses of Paxlovid available for Covid-19 patients: MoH

104,700 courses of Paxlovid available for Covid-19 patients: MoH

Drug to be offered for free at CACs, government hospitals, says health minister

KUALA LUMPUR – Pfizer’s Covid-19 drug Paxlovid will be offered for free after the Health Ministry has obtained 104,700 courses recently. In a press conference in the Parliament building today, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Paxlovid will only be available at Covid-19 Assessment Centres (CACs) and government hospitals.

Some 48,000 courses arrived in Malaysia on April 9 and have been sent to 14 locations in the country, with more to be delivered to Sabah and Sarawak tomorrow.

“These deliveries involve 481 CAC health clinics and 15 government hospitals.”

He said the Drug Control Authority on March 3 gave a conditional approval for Paxlovid, adding that the medication will reduce the virus’ ability to replicate itself and improve the body’s immune system to fight the infection.

Paxlovid will be offered to treat Categories 2 and 3 Covid-19 patients above the ages of 18 who do not require oxygen therapy and are at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. Covid-19 patients that arrive at CACs or government hospitals will be screened and assessed by a medical officer before receiving the drug.

Patients that are given a score above three during the assessment will be given priority for the antiviral treatment. “Priority will be given to senior citizens infected with Covid-19, patients with various comorbidities and the immunocompromised.”

He said the drug must be taken within five days of experiencing symptoms for optimum efficacy and patients must take two pills a day for a period of five days. He added that Paxlovid can reduce deaths and hospitalisation by up to 90%, but it should not be used to replace Covid-19 vaccinations.

– Agency

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